It's been a small handful of days since Christmas. There are still piles of things to put away, and cardboard boxes to haul to the trash. I haven't taken down the Christmas tree. My husband hasn't packed away the train set. My children haven't yet played with every one of their new toys. Amidst the continued enjoyment of the season, I've recalled with tenderness a few of my favorite moments — replaying sweet conversations over and over again.
One morning, a week or so before Christmas, my husband was preparing to take the boys Christmas shopping. As we sat in the breakfast nook of our home that morning, sun streaming in from all around us, my youngest looked up into my eyes and said, "I want to buy you a rainbow dress for Christmas. And maybe... maybe I will find some rainbow earrings and lipstick to go with it. Wouldn't you like that?" Tears. Immediate, grateful, Dear-Lord-please-fix-this-moment-forever-in-my-mind tears.
A few hours later he returned, deflated, and said, "I looked and looked, but I didn't find you a rainbow dress."
He recovered, however, by Christmas morning and sat close to my side as I opened each present from my husband and the children. After each gift was revealed, he'd lean in close as say, "O, yes, this one's from me!" Then he'd take my face in his little hands and kiss me square on the lips." My sweet husband didn't get to take credit for one of his purchases!"
As always, a highlight Christmas morning was watching our middle-est open his Lego sets. The joy literally shines like beams from his eyes — spot lights illuminating pure joy. While I'm a little embarrassed to reveal how many big sets he received, I have to say that Legos are not just Brody's favorite toys... they are his closest companions, his dearest friends.
And then there was the sweet moment when Matt opened a gift from the children - a gift card to The Cheesecake Factory - and the boys burst into an impromptu chorus of "Take Mom on a DATE! Take Mom on a DATE! Take Mom on a DATE!"
But of all the moments, all the conversations, all the kisses by the Christmas tree, my favorite memory from this Christmas was one I had with my Caleb. Our first-born always has thought-provoking insights to share with us about who he thinks God is, or probing questions revealing his desire to know God more. On Christmas Eve, Caleb asked me "Mom, why did the Bible end? If the story is still going on?"
My response came faster than my thoughts could form by my own intellect: "Caleb, you know how all the Old Testament stories point to our need for a Savior? A Rescuer? And then at the beginning of the New Testament that Savior is born?" He nodded. "Well, the New Testament goes on to show us how to have a friendship with Jesus, and how to live in a way that pleases God and shows Him that we love him back. But just as the prophets in the Old Testament told us of the Messiah's coming, the New Testament ends with the promise that He will return again to conquer sin and death once and for all! The story isn't over, you're right... we celebrate Christmas because He came the first time to rescue us, but we also celebrate His promised return at Christmas! And we wait for Him excitedly, expectantly!"
Caleb is only 10. I don't know how deep this message went in my boy's young heart, but it went deep in mine this Christmas. Jesus is coming again to conquer sin and sadness once and for all! At Christmas There is the manger, but there is also the cross, and there is the hope of what is to come when Jesus comes again! As we ready ourselves for the New Year, let's enter in with a renewed Hope and expectation for Jesus' next coming!
Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
Categories: Raising Boys